History don’t fail me now
[Sharpen the silliness, and the contradictions will sharpen themselves: this is the point I failed to make this morning as I hurried out of the house…]
“Wittgenstein was insisting that a proposition and that which it describes must have the same ‘logical form’, the same ‘logical multiplicity’. Sraffa made a gesture, familiar to Neapolitans as meaning something like disgust or contempt, of brushing the underneath of his chin with an outward sweep of the finger-tips of one hand. And he asked: ‘What is the logical form of that?'”
(Norman Malcolm, Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir, pp. 58–59)
Faintly recall from student days long ago that N.Malcolm was hard work and unrewarding as a philosopher (trans.: I was a confused and unsatisfactory philosophy student, esp.as far as Anglo-Am Analytical etc goes). But this is a good story, and — whether or not LW drew the correct conclusions at length — Sraffa’s intervention was strong, and Wittgenstein was right to be impressed and unsettled. I’m tempted to argue that music — all music, from Blobby to Boulez — is making much the same gesture to all other intellectual activity: here’s something you can’t do. That might be too strong — other things are always going on in music (including rapprochement, or attempts at same), and of course the various forces and layers never aggregate to a single decisive intent or content anyway — but it’s definitely an element I value in music, and don’t see well grasped in its discussion.
1: the road-testing of the citizens united decision has not developed entirely to the 1%’s advantage
2: TRUMPBOT SMASH *trumpbot falls over on face in puddle of someone else’s vomit*
3: no one ever got rich betting against the continued stupidity of the US pundit class, but — and usually like emerson I am pro creative-transformative intuition and against the soulless bead-counting technocrat where’er he be — but Team Silver has surely helped ding the the current pundit-layer’s crappy jalopy, in a way that a mere unpredicted shock dem win would not have done
4: ratfuck report (relevant internal repug warfare): Continue reading
Which is likely to depress me more: a Guardian debate between a scientist and a philosopher, or a Crooked Timber thread on Westerns and John Hughes?
(Truly you can hunt for them yourselves and please keep the answers from me…)